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djberg96 (2603)

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Journal of djberg96 (2603)

Friday March 08, 2002
08:53 AM

Sci-Fi question

[ #3380 ]
I'm a fan of sci-fi, and I've also read the first two books of Anne Rice's Vampire series. That has made me think - what if humanity discovered the secret to eternal youth? That led me to several other questions.

I've written down some of these questions before, but for kicks I thought I'd post them here. They range from the deep to the absurd.

Now keep in mind that eternal youth does not mean invulnerability. It just means you won't age. You could still be hit by a bus, or die of cancer. Let's also start with the posit that all people world-wide are given the secret simultaneously and that aging occurs normally until you reach 18. Anyone already past that age has the choice to stop aging or continue aging normally.

  • How long would you live before you offed yourself out of sheer *boredom* (or insanity)?
  • Would people be more likely to wear their seatbelts?
  • Given the chance to live forever, would war become a thing of the past since soldiers wouldn't be willing to risk their lives (or would they)?.
  • Would term limits change?
  • Would additional categories be created for some of the new age groups, e.g. Child, Adult, Senior, Elder, Ancient, etc.
  • How would it affect family structure and family interaction? I mean, grandma and grandpa would look as young as you.
  • How long would marriages last?
  • Would incest become a serious problem?
  • How would investment strategies change?
  • Would technological progress slow down?
  • Would population control become a serious issue?
  • What would the average 450 yr old think about?
  • Would there be a glut of History professors after a time? Would there be any need for History professors?

Well, anyway, there they are. Feel free to add more or comment on these.

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  • Holy Fire (Score:2, Informative)

    Bruce Sterling's Holy Fire talked about this. Basically it looks at situations from both ends, the geriatric examining youth, and youth examining geriatrics. Interesting book, but I remember seeing you post that you didn't want to see any scifi stuff by any of the 'cyberpunk' authors.

    I think Bruce Sterling's later books are probably a lot more interesting than his earlier books, the characters have depth and the writing is crisp.

    Anyway, just my opinion.
    • I remember seeing you post that you didn't want to see any scifi stuff by any of the 'cyberpunk' authors

      Nah, just William Gibson. Thanks for the info, though. We're making a book run today, so I'll take a look.

  • I'm curious what the human lifespan is when it's unfettered by natural aging. I mean, I personally have done a few things stupid enough to get me killed; how many times can I be that lucky?

    In general, Larry Niven's treatment of it seems best. For a few specifics...

    Social Classes: I think the dividing line between 'adult' and 'child' would be a little more fuzzy (since there are 15 year old people who look twentysomething already, now there will also be 700 year old people who look twentysomething), b


    You are what you think.
    • Niven had the interesting idea of the Struldbrug Club (I probably spelled that wrong). Every second year the minimum age to join the club was increased by one year.

      Niven also shows that humans in general become much more conservative when they are longer-lived, but there can still be a great deal of variation in individuals, incluing some who start taking ever greater risks out of boredom.

      The Anne Rice vampire reference reminded me of Steven Brust's series about Vlad Taltos. (It starts with "Jhereg".)